The People vs OJ Simpson: Cuba Gooding Jr discusses the 'dark place' he was in during filming

The actor said the role took him to a 'dark place'

Olivia Blair
Friday 08 April 2016 11:55
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Cuba Gooding Jr
Cuba Gooding Jr

Cuba Gooding Jr says he was in such a dark place during filming for The People vs OJ Simpson that his pastor prayed for him.

Gooding undertook the role of Simpson, the hugely famous American football player turned murder suspect, in a remake of the trial which has captivated audiences in the states and overseas.

Simpson was acquitted of the double murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. He was later found “liable” for the death of Goldman in a civil suit brought by his family. The 68-year-old is currently in jail serving time for a 2008 conviction for kidnapping and robbery charges.

Gooding spoke at an event in Hollywood and discussed the “dark place” the role took to him to, sparking concerns for his wellbeing from friends and family, the AFP news agency reports.

“I was in a dark place with it. It’s overwhelming the reception I get from people I don’t know famous or not,” he said. “I went to church one Sunday and the pastor asked for me to stay after the service. And then he and his wife prayed over me because they thought there was darkness in my spirit.

“I mean it’s things like that where I’m like, ‘Man, this show has really affected people'.”

The Jerry Maguire actor previously discussed the “emotional rollercoaster” that came with playing Simpson when appearing on the Steve Harvey Show.

“I remember when the verdict was read and it said ‘not guilty’ and I cheered because I was a black entertainer in LA and I’d been harassed by LAPD. I’d been pulled over and had guns put in my face. If he did it then fine, at least it’s another black man that didn’t get railroaded or maybe it was our turn to get away with something like that.”

However, the actor says when he took on the role and re-visited the trial he felt guilty and “couldn’t stop weeping” after acting the scene where Simpson kisses Brown’s corpse at her funeral service.

“I was so emotional. I literally had a nervous breakdown. I think I’ve finally grieved for that family. It hit me that both of those families were shattered and I just felt extreme guilt.”

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